Friday, December 12, 2008

MIchigan: Controversial Release

Hat tip to one of our readers who brought to our attention an excellent article that appeared last month in the Macomb Daily. The subject is a 71-year-old prisoner who has spent 42 years behind bars but will "walk" free next month because of a commutation of sentence granted by Governor Granholm. Dante Ferrazza, was sentenced to life in prison without a chance for parole in 1967 after kidnapping and strangling another man. The body was then tied to cement blocks and tossed in a river. At the time, Ferrazza had two armed robbery convictions and was on parole.

The Attorney General's office opposes the release. A son and brother of the victim are reported to be both "angry and dismayed" that Granholm initiated it. One says Ferrazza "deserves to die in prison." The other says, "He is a danger to the community. I feel in danger myself." An assistant prosecutor has even filed an appeal calling the decision to release Frrazza "an abuse of discretion based upon the very serious nature of the instant offense and the expectations of society and the victim's family as to the serving of the life sentence."

Granholm's commutation is said to be "part of her effort to reduce the cost of and reform the state Department of Corrections, which in recent years has increasingly strained the state budget due to a rising prison population." This year, she has approved 40 early releases after approving 18 in her prior five years in office. See additional details in article here.


Anonymous said...

Here is a man who has been a model prisoner for 41 years. The victim raped his 15 year old sister, and got killed accidentally because of it. How long does it take before someone has paid for their crime? The prison philosophy is built on the principle that we as a society can rehabilitate a wrong-doer and welcome them back into society after they have been punished for their crime. Clearly this man has been punished and his record demonstrates that he has been rehabilitated. If we can't forgive this man and move on, then why don't we just kill all criminals and save the state the expense of warehousing them. And before you expound on this matter, consider that someone in your own family may someday need the mercy of the public and/or Parole Board in order to continue to exist with the rest of us.

After 41 years in prison this guy deserves to be free. Everything I’ve read on this case demonstrates the reality that this guy is harmless. He’s 71 years old and never in 41 years had any behavior problems in prison. That’s a miracle in itself and shows that this guy is determined to stay out of trouble. What’s everyone afraid of? Will he revert to a life of crime? I seriously doubt it. I think he just wants to live the rest of his life in peace. He’s paid his debt to society. Do we require death before forgiveness, or do we have any forgiveness left to give?

Anonymous said...

Excellent statement and very trur

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